Should Samsung focus on the Note tablets from now on?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Samsung has a lot of tablets. While there are a lot of Android-powered tablets out there, Samsung has the lion's share, and they manage to do it by filling in almost every nook and cranny you can think of. Instead of launching two different versions of the same-sized tablet (oh, wait, never mind...), they release a plethora of other tablets in all ranges of sizes. They've filled in the gaps, and they don't seem to be slowing down any, either, as they've recently announced successors to both the original Galaxy Tab, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1. But, not everything is so shiny for Samsung.
Yesterday, a report came out that suggested things aren't going too well for Samsung, actually. Not in the tablet market, anyway. In the report, it is said that during a Samsung round table event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung product strategy executive Hankil Yoon said:
"Honestly, we're not doing very well in the tablet market."
Wow, scathing. Right? Well, while slates like Samsung's Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 are easily the most successful of the tablets, it's apparently not all that great. More to the point, the fact that Samsung continues to launch newer, differently-sized tablets isn't making a bit of difference. So much so, in fact, that an executive within the company is being brutally honest in summing up that they're not doing very well.
Okay, so people probably aren't all that surprised. But, Samsung probably is. After all, they're plan to release phone after phone is working quite well for them, so why shouldn't the same mentality work within the tablet market? It could be that the tablet market isn't as profound as the smartphone market, or any number of things, really. But, I think it has more to do with the fact that Samsung is just overreaching their bounds. They're trying too hard to fill in all the gaps they think tablets should fill, and in doing so they aren't really offering all that different an experience, from software to hardware, in each new device.
So, what should they do? How about change the way things are going by focusing on one tablet. Yes, you have certainly made a name for yourself, Samsung, with the Galaxy Tab lineage, but maybe you should move on and focus on the Note series now. After all, you obviously think it's an important step within the company to do this, as you've just announced the Galaxy Note 10.1, a tablet with S-Pen functionality. And that's great, except for the fact that you've also just announced a Galaxy Tab 10.1 2, which seems irrelevant at this point.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 has that S-Pen functionality, and that is what you should focus on. Because that S-Pen really does make your tablet stand out, just as it makes the Galaxy Note stand out (even beyond the "smartphone's" size). So, you've got your Tab series of TouchWiz-fused tablets, and those aren't doing too well. But, you're Galaxy Note is doing quite well on the international level, and it will probably be quite successful here in the States, too. So, drop the Tab line-up so that there aren't any new refreshes next year (or later this year), and focus on the Note series.
You've already got a 5.3-inch device, and now a 10.1-inch slate. So, how about popping out an 8.9-inch Note, and then calling it good? You've got the main sizes filled, something for everyone, and that S-Pen leading the charge for doing all sorts of new and cool things on your tablet. You've embraced the stylus, but you need to make a real push for it. Embrace the Note series as your go-to family of devices, and let the Tab series fade out. You've done what you could, but obviously it's only working at a mediocre level.
Take the Note series and go head-to-head with Apple. Put your absolute best foot forward when creating the Note tablets, and have people talking about how Samsung is really giving Apple a run for its money.
Or, continue to just release tablet after tablet, hoping for the best, and watch Apple as they release their third tablet, and mop the floor with you.